Friday, April 18, 2008

The Search for the Red Dragon

The Search for the Red Dragon by James A. Owen (book two in the young adult The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series) was originally published January 1, 2008. The hardcover edition is 371 pages long. Please refer to the previous Here, There Be Dragons review for my feelings on this series, although I felt this second book was better than the first. No rating; YA readers will likely enjoy this.

[I'm editing the original post to add that, with a few exceptions, I normally prefer hard science fiction over fantasy science fiction. While I very much enjoyed C.S. Lewis and J. R.R.Tolkien from the moment I first read them years ago as a YA reader, I prefer to return to them rather than some of the newer fantasy novels. Also, allow me to add that I found Christopher Paolini's dragon books more enjoyable.]

From cover:

It has been nine years since John, Jack, and Charles had their great adventure in the Archipelago of Dreams and became the Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica. Now they have been brought together again to solve a mystery: Someone is kidnapping the children of the Archipelago. And their only clue is a mysterious message delivered by a strange girl with artificial wings: "The Crusade has begun." Worse, they discover that all of the legendary Dragonships have disappeared as well...


"As they awoke to find the beds of their sons and daughters empty, the mothers and fathers in the towns and villages would feel bewilderment, then fear, and then terror." pg. 2

"When they had parted ways in London years earlier, they had made a pact to never contact one another except in the event of a situation arising that involved the care of the Geographica, or the Archipelago, or in case of another extreme emergency. It was, they decided, the only way to protect the secrets they had been entrusted with." pg. 9

"You are here because you are supposed to be here, and you are the Caretakers, after all. You well know that the responsibility is greater than just looking after a book. Even if you were not the caretakers, you are still friends of the king and queen - and it is in times of peril that one must call on one's friends, wherever and whoever they may be." pg. 65

"His new attribute showed itself, not through an irrational recklessness, but rather in a disregard for any personal price he might have to pay for a course of action. The best word he could use to describe his awareness was from India: satyagraha. It meant to do anything, give anything, sacrifice anything, to pursue what was right without harming another. And to do it without regard to self.
The only fear John had was for his children." pg. 215

"Why is it that all fables and fairy tales involve children in peril?...Was there some great assembly of storytellers that decided the best tales to tell children should also frighten then to death." pg. 275